Finding The Best illy Coffee Machine For Your Morning Cup

If you’re a fan of illy coffee, why not consider one of their coffee machines?

illy coffee machine

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Coffee machines come in all shapes and sizes, and it might not be common knowledge, but you can get the best illy coffee machine for your home. Italian company illy has been specialising in espresso since 1933 and has recently started its coffee machine journey, throwing its hat in the ring with other beloved coffee brands such as Nespresso and Lavazza with their popular appliances.

Best illy Coffee Machines At A Glance

Best budget illy coffee machine: Coffee Machine E.S.E - illy Easy – View on illy
Best small, simple coffee pod machine: Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Machine – View on illy
Best for an espresso and beyond: X7.1 Iperespresso - Capsules Coffee Machine – View on illy

With their specialist ESE pods and iperEspresso capsules, the company makes coffee like no other. As described by illy, its specially roasted coffee is a “single blend with an unmistakable taste”. It’s a unique taste that is shared across all of their coffee. Not only are they consistent, but illy has a mission to improve relationships with growers and protect the ecosystem.

Aside from striving to innovate and investing in many ground-breaking projects, illy is now a certified B-corp, demonstrating a high standard of environmental practices. For example, its coffee is sourced from agricultural techniques with low environmental impact. Its E.S.E. pods are certified compostable too, and the packaging is made from recycled cardboard. This makes a coffee subscription from illy even more enticing.

What Does The illy Coffee Machine Range Look Like?

Illy coffee machine range seems to comprise capsule and pod machines. With their tasty, eco-friendly and reliable ESE pods and iperEspresso capsules, you’ll be more than happy with their deluxe, sleek and stylish range.

X7.1 Iperespresso – Capsules Coffee Machine

First, we have the X7.1 range, which takes the Iperespresso capsules.

Beautifully designed, this twist on a classic features advanced technology. Fans of a creamy cappuccino and caffe latte will be pleased, as this model features a Pannarello steam wand. To use, place the capsule in the portafilter – traditionally for ground coffee – and press a button. Easy! In red, white or black, this makes a striking choice.

Best for an espresso and beyond

Classic look and modern design, this coffee machine makes a bold statement in any kitchen. It comes with a two-year warranty and useful features to make a delightful cup of espresso. Customise with the milk frothing wand to indulge in creamy cappuccinos and lattes, if you wish. With Power Save, this coffee is energy-saving and automatically descales, too. With a press of a soft-touch button, you'll be indulging in illy heaven.

Pros

  • Milk frother for cappuccinos
  • Classic look, modern innovation
  • Energy saving and automatic descaling

Cons

  • Only compatible with Iperespresso capsules

Y3.3 Espresso & Coffee Machine

Need something smaller and sleek? We like the Y3.3, which takes Iperespresso capsules.

A great addition to any kitchen counter, the Y3.3 offers drip coffee or espresso. Sleek, compact and minimalistic, this small coffee machine won’t look out of place – and won't break the bank, either. It has a programmable cup volume, automatic shut-off and descales automatically. As tasty as ever, this illy coffee machine offers heaven in a cup.

Best small, simple coffee pod machine

All the advantages of an Iperespresso capsule machine are in a more compact, minimalist design. Y3.3 is the easiest way to enjoy the authentic illy taste. With a range of capsules and its adjustable cup shelf, you can make a perfect espresso or an aromatic brewed coffee with a single machine. Plus, this machine is easy and intuitive to use.

Pros

  • Energy saving, automatic descaling
  • Programmable cup volume
  • Sleek, compact and minimalistic

Cons

  • No milk frother or accessories

Coffee Machine E.S.E - illy Easy

Second, we have this budget-friendly machine from illy, which takes E.S.E. pods.

Compact, this E.S.E. machine from illy has been primed to meet their quality standards. From pod to cup, the experience is easy and intuitive – with two settings to choose from. Ideal for smaller kitchens with a little less counter space than most, this coffee machine is a simple, easy and energy-saving coffee machine for beginners.

Best budget illy coffee machine

Whether espresso or lungo, this coffee machine will offer you top-quality coffee at a reasonable. The cheapest coffee machine on our list, this E.S.E. Easy machine is compact, making it perfect for smaller kitchen sides. Simply insert the pod above and press one of two buttons. When finished, it'll pop out into a collection drawer. Very handy! Better yet, the new illy E.S.E. pods are fully compostable and can be collected in green waste collection.

Pros

  • Compact for smaller kitchens
  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Simple, energy-saving

Cons

  • May be too basic for some

Y5 Iperespresso Espresso & Filter Coffee Maker

Next, enjoy the sleek Y5 Iperespresso, which takes the Iperespresso capsules.

Savour a full-bodied espresso or a rich, aromatic cup of filter coffee at the touch of a button with the Y5 Iperespresso. Using illy's impressive capsule system, this appliance is a filter coffee machine and espresso maker all in one. This illy coffee machine combines a sleek, minimalist design and offers maximum versatility. Simple and quick.

Best for filter coffee

Now you can have it all in one machine. The Francis Francis Illy Y5 iperEspresso offers filter coffee and espresso in one machine. How nifty is that? Simply choose your desired cup at the touch of a button - and enjoy illy's rich, aromatic blend. After 30 minutes of inactivity, the energy-saving function activates. Plus, it has an adjustable cup tray to fit both demitasse espresso cups and standard coffee mugs. Simple and quick, it's never been easier to enjoy illy from home.

Pros

  • Energy saving, automatic descaling
  • Choose between filter and espresso
  • Adjustable cup sizes, easy to use

Cons

  • May not suit everyone's taste

Ground Coffee & E.S.E. Pods Machine – X1 Anniversary inox

Lastly, we have the X1 Anniversary inox, which takes E.S.E. pods and ground coffee.

Combining sustainability with style, the X1 espresso machine comes decked out with new technology for your morning cup. The innovative Trio extraction unit allows you to select the espresso you wish – long, normal or ristretto – with an intuitive rotation of the filter holder. Reliable and attractive, this one is a favourite of ours.

Best for ground coffee and pods

Decked with eco-friendly technology, this appliance promises quick heat-up time and great results. Whether espresso, long, normal or ristretto, this machine is kitted out to make all of your coffee shop favourites with an easy method. It can take illy's compostable E.S.E. pods and even ground coffee. This anniversary model is style to the max.

Pros

  • Takes both ground and pods
  • Stylish and sustainable
  • Fast-heating and easy to use

Cons

  • We can't think of any!

Add-Ons

Aside from coffee machines and subscriptions, illy has a range of coffee-making extras to turn your morning cup into a barista-style experience. We've put together a small list of our favourite extras that you need to add to your kitchen cupboards – from milk frothers to travel mugs for coffee lovers on the go. Plus, some beautiful-looking cups...

Best for making rich, creamy froth in seconds

Some of illy's coffee machines don't contain a built-in milk frother, ideal for cappuccinos and lattes. So, we suggest pairing your new illy coffee machine with this sleek, electric solution. The elegant design, touch controls and stainless steel jug will all improve your user experience - while adding style to your creativity.

Pros

  • Sleek, elegant design
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Durable stainless steel

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best for coffee lovers on the go

If you need your illy coffee on the go, why not rely on the illy KeepCup to keep your drink warm and safe? An alternative to traditional, disposable takeaway cups, this reusable and recyclable travel cup features the signature illy logo. Plus, it's available in seven colours. Lightweight and durable, the illy KeepCup is dishwasher-friendly, too.

Pros

  • 100 per cent recyclable
  • DIshwasher-friendly
  • Lightweight and durable

Cons

  • No customer reviews

VERDICT: Which illy Coffee Machine Is Best?

We have to pick the X1 Anniversary as the best illy coffee machine.

Though it's the priciest on our list, this X1 Anniversary combines modern technology and sustainability whilst keeping a classic, retro feel. Not only that, but it takes compostable E.S.E. pods and ground coffee. Whether you desire an espresso normal, long or ristretto, this coffee machine is capable, not to mention attractive and innovative.

FAQs: Best illy Coffee Machine

Which illy coffee beans and pods are best?

Illy’s website offers a subscription service for their consistently high-quality coffee – or you can buy them individually. They have a wide range of pods, ground coffee, beans, and instant. Plus, to ensure their products are recycled, illy has partnered with Podback to provide us with an easy way to recycle their used pods and capsules. Here, you can find out how you can recycle your coffee pods.

A Modern Kitchen has handpicked illy’s best coffee that you can snag from their site.

Best buy for illy Classico capsules

Illy's Iperespresso capsules are compatible with many of the coffee machines we listed above. We've selected the CLASSICO roast for that classic illy taste that we all know and love. Smooth and velvety, with lingering sweetness and delicate notes of caramel, orange blossom and jasmine.

Pros

  • Smooth, velvety taste
  • Sustainable coffee
  • Recyclable capsules

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best illy ground coffee selection

On Offer

Why not grab this set of five taster pots for your ground coffee fix? Whether moka pot, cafetiere or X1 Anniversary machine, these five Arabica blends will serve you well. Hailing from the Coffee Belt, this bundle contains the majesty of ground coffee from Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia and India.

Pros

  • Better value to buy as a selection
  • Sample premium coffee from all over the world
  • Recyclable outer packaging
  • Sustainable

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best illy instant coffee

Get the classic taste of illy in convenient granule form with illy Instant Coffee CLASSICO. Enjoy coffee shop quality coffee in the comfort of your own home. There's no bother with brewing, this is just great tasting coffee in an instant.

Pros

  • Sustainable
  • Convenient and great-tasting
  • Subscription available

Cons

  • No customer reviews

Best Nespresso-compatible illy capsules

illy's beloved Arabica blend is now available in aluminium capsules compatible with most Nespresso coffee machines. Savour the smooth, velvety taste of illy Classico coffee with caramel, orange blossom and jasmine notes. It captures the perfect balance between acidity and bitterness, followed by a sweet aftertaste.

Pros

  • Makes delicious espresso
  • Recyclable aluminium capsules
  • Sustainable coffee

Cons

  • No customer reviews

How do I clean an illy coffee machine?

Coffee machines are bound to get a little dirty after many mornings of use – and you’ll need to be on top of limescale, the coffee capsule tray and more. Luckily, illy has laid out some easy cleaning instructions to keep on top of your new coffee machine. You shouldn’t be using the dishwasher.

Instructions

After turning off the machine, remove the used capsule holder – as per your machine's instructions. Typically, a used capsule container can hold around seven empty pods, so make sure you’re checking this regularly to avoid any issues. For example, the capsules can get stuck.

Empty the used capsule tray, rinse it under warm water and clean it with a sponge. This should be the same process for the drip tray or cup holder, also. If your coffee machine has any residue, wipe carefully with a gentle sponge. Once cleaned, dry all removable compartments and reattach them.

How to descale an illy coffee machine

Limescale normally builds up with the use of the machine. Unfortunately, this will be more prevalent if you live in an area with hard water. The illy coffee machines claim to be equipped with an automatic program allowing you to optimise cleaning and remove limescale from the inside.

illy recommends that the “descaling procedure should be done at least every 2 months,” as failure to do so may cause malfunctions, and this may not be covered by the two-year warranty. Not only that, but illy suggests only using descaling products for coffee machines. Avoid vinegar, lye, salt or formic acid, as they may damage the machine. Here’s a guide on how to descale your illy coffee machine.

Instructions

After turning off the machine, remove the tank and empty out the remaining water. Now, refill the tank with fresh water up to the maximum level and let the descaling solution dissolve. Then, attach the tank containing the descaling solution back onto the coffee machine.

Now, close the lever and do not enter any pod or capsule. Under the dispensing spout, place a receptacle of at least 750ml for the programme. It’s now time to turn on the machine. You can start the descaling cycle with your button control panel, but this process may differ from model to model. At this point, the machine will start dispensing water.

When the cycle ends, empty the receptacle from the cup stand and wash the tank thoroughly through. Fill the tank again and attach it back to the appliance. Run the same process again – but with no descaling cycle or tablet. Instead, activate the Rinse cycle if possible. Make sure the receptacle is on the drip tray to catch the water.

When complete, the machine is ready for use.

Can illy coffee machines take other pods?

Unfortunately, you can't use their coffee pods with third-party coffee machines.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Gardens and Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in cookware. When she’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Piper is re-watching a TV show or listening to a podcast.

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